A new study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Experian's ProtectMyID.com found that people are doing little to protect their personal information on social networks, opening them up to increased vulnerability for ID theft. While about 80% of those surveyed expressed concern about security around social media, over half of them aren't doing anything about it.
"The study results are extremely telling, especially about measures that users take, or fail to take, in order to protect their identity while using social networks," says Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. "I was surprised that those who had experienced identity theft in the past weren’t taking stronger measures to protect their identity. No matter who you are, if you want to increase social networking safety, you must take the necessary steps to protect your information."
Some highlights from the study include:
- About 65% of users don't set high privacy or security settings in social media sites
- About 40% share their physical home address through social media apps.
"Social networking sites give users the ability to share personal information, but they need to keep sensitive information out of easily-accessed public profiles," says Jennifer Leuer, general manager of ProtectMyID.com. "If people aren't careful, identity thieves can quickly gather all the information they need to commit fraud, and that’s why it’s so important to be selective about the information shared and use a product like ProtectMyID.com, since it provides early fraud detection and resolution."
Interestingly, the study found that people who have been victims of identity theft in the past are just as likely to be lax in securing their personal information online.